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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

It’s that time again for Asian duo

Rahul Dravid and Mahela Jayawardene get their last chance to bring the Cup home.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2007 03:32 IST
Manoj Vatsyayana (AFP)
Manoj Vatsyayana (AFP)

Rahul Dravid and Mahela Jayawardene hope to finally get the past off their back at the World Cup. India have not won the tournament since 1983, and this time round, it is Dravid’s turn as skipper to attempt to break that long wait for a second title.

The pressure has been increased by Kapil Dev, the captain of that 1983 side, claiming that the 2007 squad is better than the one which memorably seized the trophy 24 years ago. “I think you can’t really compare teams, it’s a different time, a different era, and that was a great team that won the competition,” said Dravid. “We’re looking forward. Just take one game at a time and make sure we get through the first round.” India open their Group B campaign here on Saturday against Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka, champions in 1996, have also been touted as potential winners and recognise that a second world title could also act as a unifying factor back home. “It (1996) obviously gave a lot of pride and a lot of passion,” said captain Mahela Jayawardene. “We have four guys on our team who have done it, and who have spoken to us about the feeling of winning a World Cup and, hopefully we can do it again.”

Like Dravid, the Sri Lanka captain is also reluctant to look too far ahead, with the final in Barbados not due to take place until April 28. “It’s a long way away. We would love to be in the final to start off with. That would be our ultimate goal, but it doesn’t matter who the opposition is, as long as we get there.”

First Published: Mar 14, 2007 03:11 IST

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